Again and again, in sweat lodges, in traditional councils and ceremonies, and even in social gatherings, we hear, “All my relations! All my relations!” Our relations are not limited to family and kinfolk but include all life—and in the sweat lodges, even the rocks are alive. Direct experience and awareness of the interconnectedness of all life will be essential for regaining the natural human potentials that have become so uncommon in modern times. We need a practical and relevant mysticism. Our pressing need to handle our contemporary human emergency now demands of us a better understanding of our relationship to all of life. We cannot honestly address the question, “What in the world is a human being?” except within the contact of the larger question, “What in the world is the world?” We cannot know ourselves out of context. No one said, “Know thyself all by thyself.” We cannot really understand anything apart from the interconnected cosmic contexture into which it fits. We can never truly understand Earth’s Plan, or even life itself, when science and mysticism go on attempting coexist in some sort of self-induced schizophrenia, by ignoring each other. We need a practical mysticism—an appropriate balance between intuitive insight and practical effort.
— Doug Boyd, from “Mystics, Magicians and Medicine People”
It is impossible to understand a human being fully if one bases one’s judgement on a generic concept. We are most obstinate in judging according to type when it is a question of a person’s sex. Man almost always sees in woman, and woman in man, too much of the general character of the other sex and too little of what is individual. In practical life, this does less harm to men than it does to women. The social position of women is unworthy, for the most part, because it is at many points determined not, as it should be, by the individual characteristics of an individual woman, but by the general mental picture that others form of the natural duties and needs of the female. The activity of a man in life is determined by his individual capacities and inclinations; that of a woman is supposed to be determined exclusively by the fact that she is, precisely, a woman. Woman is supposed to be a slave of the generic, of what is universally womanish. As long as men debate whether women are suited to this or that profession "according to their natural disposition," the so-called woman question cannot evolve beyond its most elementary stage. What women are capable of according to their nature should be left to women to decide. If it is true that women are suited only to the profession that is currently allotted to them, then they will hardly be able to attain any other on their own. But they must be allowed to decide for themselves what is appropriate to their nature. Anyone who fears a cataclysm in our social conditions if women are accepted not as generic entities but as individuals should be told that social conditions in which one half of humanity leads an existence unworthy of human beings are conditions that stand in great need of improvement.

Rudolf Steiner

pretty good for 1894

Everyone who’s listening, who’s even half-awake, realizes that the modern world is in trouble. And that no amount of science and technology, of nanotechnology, and biotechnology and computers and internet and smartphones and—all of that stuff—is gonna stop continuing warfare. It’s not gonna stop continuing racism or environmental destruction or destruction of species. The outer developments of the world need to be matched by inner human development….and there’s some way in which we as a species now have to develop the inner technologies.
You know what Joseph Campbell said about religion, Jeff? To paraphrase Joseph Campbell: “People fuck it up because they think that bibles are newspapers.” Your religion is supposed to have a transparency to it. You’re supposed to be in on the joke. You’re supposed to have one foot in, one foot out. The whole point of religion, the whole point of God, the jar that God comes in says on the label: “YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND IT!” It’s not fucking steak sauce[…]fucking it’s God, dude. It’s confusing shit. It both exists and doesn’t exist.
— Dan Harmon

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

I NEED have no anxiety about the world of nature. The sun does not wait to be trimmed by me.

But from the early morning all my thoughts are occupied by this little world of my self. Its importance is owing to the fact that I have a world given to me which is mine. It is great because I have the power to make it worthy of its relationship with me; it is great, because by its help I can offer my own hospitality to the God of all the world.

— from “Thought Relics” by Rabindranath Tagore
We think in terms of systems and continuities and predictability and schemes and plans, and I think the Bible is to some great extent focused on God’s capacity to break those schemes open and to violate those formulas. When they are positive disruptions the Bible calls them miracles. We tend not to use that word when they are negative. What it means is that the reality of our life and the reality of God are not contained in most of our explanatory schemes.
— Walter Brueggemann

Mandela is dead.

I.
Mandela is dead
Mandela is dead
Mandela is dead

I was not raised to dance and sing
Mandela is dead
and I do not feel like dancing and I do not feel like singing
Mandela is dead
and I feel like giving up.

"MEEEE! MEEEE! MEEEE!"
I am a car alarm
screaming in the night.

II.
I was born a day before his release from prison.
At my mother’s breast for the first time,
on my first day outside,
I drank the milk of hope triumphant.

III.
Yesterday my parents and I celebrated the Winter Solstice together,
for the first time,
at St. John the Divine Cathedral.
(every time we try to build a room big enough for God’s love, we fail. but we always try again)
A man came to the microphone to tell his favorite story about Mandela,

a story his close friends have been telling
(friends of this Great One must tell these stories now. the Great Dead must be magnified in our minds if we’re gonna make it through this shit alive)
about certain private moments with Madiba
when he would almost succumb—

27 years and more,
every kind of violence,
it would all of it take him from behind at once and,
just for a moment,
something twisted and foul would pass over his face,
something not born in his heart but forced into it like a spear,
something akin to rage but so far beyond it

and then:

a decision.

They watched him decide to forgive again.
They watched his eyes regain their sparkle, his lips regain their easy smile, his heart regain its ironclad kindness.
They watched Mandela make himself whole again.

IV.
You were sent here to be Christ.
This is Christ.
This decision is Christ.

Look into the darkness, and light the lamp.
You must do both, because

You were sent here to be Christ.

Look to the one who sighs with understanding at the wrongs of those bad people over there then turns away and closes their eyes and tweets their way to another paycheck.
Look to those who betrayed you, look to those who abandoned you, look to those who half-listened and told you you’ll be fine.
Look to the tyrant, look to the rapist, look to the one who sends children to die.
Look to yourself: the one who has wronged you most of all.

Look to these and say, “I love you.”
If you do not feel it, at least say it,
because In the beginning was The Word, and

You were sent here to be Christ.

V.
These things are easy to forget now that
we have killed the Night.
Last night was meant to be the longest night of the year.

And it would have been,

if we had not killed the Night.

Night is dark.
Night sits at the edge of the firelight, inviting and repulsing, the magnificent unknown.

But now there is no dark. There is only dark-er.

We have made dark our enemy. We have sent electric troops into dark’s country and committed genocide.
These secret beautiful things,
whose only crime was being the Is-Nots to our Is,
we have radicalized.
Now they dwell,
brainwashed,
in what few shadows we’ve left them,

eating us from the inside.

VI.
I cut someone’s throat this year.
I spilled her blood onto a blue tarp and listened to death on her one last breath.

Then I cut off her head and feet and pulled out her feathers.
Then I cut her open at the anus, reached inside her up to her throat, and hollowed her out in two handfuls.

She, empty and clean.
Me, blood-soaked and astonished at how quickly meeting became meat.

I do not know if she can hear me,
but just in case she can,
I ask her:

What was the difference?
When I looked into your eyes and the purest fear I will ever witness passed through them and you squirmed to escape and I forced your wings closed and held you between my thighs and caressed you and whispered to you like a father holding his child awoken from a nightmare and the struggle left you and you let me bend your head back and you let me put my knife to your skin and you were calm and
this made me calm,
what was the difference?
What was the difference between you struggling and you calm?
I know it wasn’t a sudden ignorance.
I know I did not trick you.
You knew this was your death when that fear was in your eyes, and you still knew when it left them.

So,
what was the difference?
Please tell me.
I need to know.

VII.
I have a house guest.
He knows what I intend to do now, so he decided to pay me a visit.

He is the one who,
even when my patient smiling camp counselor gave me the life preserver I requested,
would still not let me jump into the deep end,
because he knew that no matter what I would sink instantly to the bottom.

The earliest memory I have of him is when he threw me back inside the house on the day I tried to play in my backyard alone,
the day the trees walked toward me and reached their branches down to take me away.

He knows what I intend to do now, so he showed up at my door, already smelling of fish, and started sleeping on my couch.

VIII.
Thank you.
Thank you for this life and this year and this day and the next.

Thank you for my neck tension and my jaw tension and my winged scapula.
Thank you for those who claim to understand and don’t, thank you for those who do not even try.
Thank you for my anger at those I love the most.
Thank you for my pride and my envy and my derision and my 
misogyny.

IX.
And please.
Please help.

Please help me look my father in the eye.
Please help me look my mother in the eye.
Please help me hug my partner without accusing myself of loving her wrong.

Please help me say what I came here to say.
Please help me give without expecting to receive.

Please help me be as I was when I drank the milk of hope triumphant.

Please help us decide to be Christ.

X.
Mandela is dead.
We are alive.

Mandela is dead.
We are alive.

Mandela is dead.
We are alive.

We are alive.

We are alive.

We are alive 

Reblogged from Soraya Searching